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Sega Mega Drive

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When Sega discontinued production of the Dreamcast console in 2001 and withdrew from the domestic hardware market, it marked the conclusion of one of the most tumultuous and error-strewn periods in the company's 72-year history. Sega Enterprises' spectacular fall from grace during the course of the 1990s remains a tragic spectacle of overconfidence and woefully misguided business practice.

At the start of the decade, Sega stood astride the gaming world like a colossus; it had smashed Nintendo's vice-like stranglehold in the US and conquered Europe with its street-smart marketing. But by the close of the '90s, the company's reputation was in tatters, its user-base had all but collapsed and it was driven dangerously close to the yawning abyss of insolvency.

This is the story of how The House That Sonic Built came crashing down in spectacular fashion.

Read more…

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Death Mask

Title : Death Mask
Publisher : Wantan International
Game Type : Simulation
Console : SegaSaturn

Price : £9.99

A FMV Sci Fi adventure in which players head to the seediest depths of the underworld to find out what is going on when they awake with an identity that doesnt fit and worse still is that of a master criminal. If this was a Holywood blockbuster the lead role would definitely be Nicholas Cage, but it ticks all the right boxes and isnt ashamed of what it is.

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Landstalker

Title : Landstalker
Publisher : Sega
Game Type : RPG
Console : MegaDrive

Price : £7.99

Successful and sizeable isometric RPG which launched Ladystalker and Climax Lander and the related Dark Saviour. The isometric perspective allows for some exquisite graphics, yet can be a bit testing when jumping skills are required. Still with such cunningly created puzzles and emotive storyline, its very easy to forgive.

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Dennin Aleste

Title : Dennin Aleste
Publisher : Compile
Game Type : Shoot Em Up
Console : MegaCD

Price : £19.99

Probably the finest Mega CD shooter complete with all the Compile trade marks including wonderful soundtrack and tight controls - all important on games of this ilk, yet sometimes found to be lacking on other examples. The story involves a futuristic twist on warring shogun era fractions: this time you are cast as the most decorated pilot in the White Fang Ninja Force switching spaceships for horses. Clever use of zoom and rotation and nice cut scenes. Known as Robo Aleste in the West and subtitled Nobunga and His Ninja Force.

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Steel Empire

Title : Steel Empire
Publisher : Hot B
Game Type : Shoot Em Up
Console : MegaDrive

Price : £79.99

Beautiful gaming world looking straight out of a Miyazaki anime with all manner of flying contraptions that keeps the action fresh. Players have two vessels to choose from: the land bombing plane or the air mine depositing Zeppelin each whose advantages must be weighed against the needs of the mission ahead. Lovingly presented in a wartime movie style, the overall package oozes quality of a bygone era.

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Aero Blasters

Title : Aero Blasters
Publisher : Kaneko
Game Type : Shoot Em Up
Console : MegaDrive

Price : £19.99

Competent arcade blast with some very demanding tunnel sections and some clever parallax effects. Thankfully stabilisers can be collected to protect your ship from collisions within the confined spaces of the tunnels. Plenty of variety between levels with cityscape backgrounds before the space showdown.

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Musha Aleste

Title : Musha Aleste
Publisher : Compile
Game Type : Shoot Em Up
Console : MegaDrive

Price : £57.99

Very intense with a banging soundtrack and very good, up there with the finest Mega Drive shooters. Pushes the hardware with fine parallax scrolling adding to the depth of levels. Also themed very nicely with a futuristic take on feudal Japan as you battle mechanical No masks and castles.

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XDR

Title : XDR
Publisher : Unipacc
Game Type : Shoot Em Up
Console : MegaDrive

Price : £19.99

Mega bosses and pretty level design make for a sizzling hot shooter that seems to be inspired by a few of its more illustrious counterparts. Still theres no shame here and the sum of the products add up to a fine trigger happy shmup. Stands for X-Dazedly Ray, in case you were wondering.

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